Why Sound DEI Infrastructure May Be More Important Now than Ever  

Why Sound DEI Infrastructure May be more important Now than Ever  

DEI Insights from Forbes for as we look into 2023 

As we close out 2022 and begin preparations for the new year, Forbes has offered some strategies for effectively navigating our current business climate. DEI infrastructure has been identified as a key tool in the toolbox of companies who can successfully navigate the current financial climate.  

Economists have begun to discuss the possibility of an economic downturn, and companies need to invest in methods of solid inclusive economic growth now. However, Forbes warns that the time for “cookie-cutter”, check the box, and one-off DEI trainings is up. The time is now to invest in long-term strategic DEI infrastructure to make real impact.  


Firing Trends: What November’s Job Report and Tech Layoffs Mean For DEI

With the most recent job reports, and Fed updates there has been uncertainty around economic projections for the future. With some economists pointing out the possibility of a recession, many businesses and households alike are hoping for the best and bracing for potential challenges. As organizations seek to tighten their financial belts, investment in inclusive business strategy could potentially be on the chopping block. However, it is critical that businesses realize that investment in attraction, engagement, and retention of a diverse workforce is essential to positive outcomes in times of financial downturn. 

Boston Consulting Group studies have found that organizations that have more diverse management have higher levels of innovation, and therefore higher revenues. Companies that utilize intentionality in their hiring to recruit a diverse workforce and invest in inclusive leadership strategies to retain them, will often reap the benefits of that investment. 


Five DEI Trends to Retire in 2023

While many people understand that DEI is important, many often struggle to develop robust long-term DEI implementation plans. As our society continues to evolve, so do recommendations for effective and impactful DEI strategies. Recently, Forbes listed some of the DEI trends that may need to be traded in for better strategies. Many of these recommendations have been echoed by local business and DEI leaders. Consider re-strategizing when it comes to the following trends. 

1. Hosting mandatory one-off DEI training.

While trainings like unconscious bias workshops are important educational tools, they should not be treated as a one stop solution. Training tools are most useful when implemented as a part of a continuous plan.

2. Expecting employee resource groups (ERGs) to “tackle the issues”.

While ERG can be a great tool to create a sense of belonging and inclusion in your organization they should not be treated as the replacement for a DEI plan

Instead, consider having executive leadership work with ERG leaders to stay connected to the needs of staff. 

3. Insisting that only people of color should lead DEI efforts.

Organizations should not rely only on those who have been historically marginalized to address the outcomes of historical marginalization.

Impactful DEI efforts require buy-in from all across the organization, and contribution from all areas of the company.

5. Lacking support of DEI Leaders.

The DEI officer role has had significant turnover since it shot into the spotlight in recent years. This turnover is related to a lack of resources, support, and organizational understanding of their value. 

6. Lacking a cohesive DEI strategy. 

Ensure that your programs and cultural celebrations are a part of a cohesive strategy. A good question to ask yourself when planning a training or event is “How does this move me toward my DEI goals?” and “What is the next step?”

A cohesive DEI strategy includes Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), clear responsibilities, implementation expectations, recognition of and access to the necessary tools and resources


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